Former Finance Secretary Garg Proposes Allowing Crypto as Commodity in India with Rules

Subhash Chandra Garg stands by his draft crypto bill that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be outlawed.

Subhash Chandra Garg, former department of economic affairs secretary and who also headed the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Digital Currencies said that the government should regulate crypto as an asset or commodity and not as a currency. However, he stands by his draft crypto bill that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies should be outlawed.

On Friday, 17 July 2020, Credit Rating for Exchanges, Blockchains and Coin Offerings (CREBACO), in association with leading law firm Khaitan & Co. organised a webinar on cryptocurrency. In that webinar, Subhash Chandra Garg was invited for an open panel discussion on what the future holds for cryptocurrency in India. In that open discussion, he said even the draft bill proposing to ban cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and others, doesn’t talk about using crypto as an asset or commodity. So with the necessary regulations, the government should permit crypto asset. He also added that,

“While I stick to what we said in the report of the virtual currencies committee, the crypto asset is anybody's right to create. The value lies in the eyes of the holder. It is the government’s duty to protect the gullible people. The people who don't understand need to be protected.”

Crypto community is looking at it positively because he proposed a total ban in his draft bill as a head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on virtual currencies set by the government and now he is saying that there is a scope to allow crypto in India as an asset or commodity but it should not be allowed as currency.

But the big question in our mind is that factually, it has any significance because he is no longer in a position to change anything in his draft bill that he had proposed or is able to influence the government. But such open discussion can help our government to hear the voice of crypto community to come up with the right regulations.